Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 12

By that time the police officer—Olgilvie—had reached us. “Evening, kids. Had a report of a girl accosting another with a cup of hot tea. Then I heard a scream. Everything all right up here?”

“Yeah,” Mason replied. “Just messing around.”

Olgilvie ignored him and came straight toward me. Did I know him? He looked familiar. Had he been there the night Lark had hurt herself?

He peered at me with narrow dark eyes. “You’re that Noble girl, aren’t you? Charlotte’s granddaughter.”

I nodded. God, even Lark’s head was heavy. How did the living walk around like this all day?

His shoulders straightened, like a rooster trying to make itself taller. He tucked his thumbs into his belt. “Are we going to have trouble again, Miss Noble?”

Again. I wanted to explain to him that we had never had any trouble, but that we certainly could if he wanted. I wanted to make the little hairs on the back of his neck stand up on end. I wanted to make his bladder quiver. A girl screams and he shows up talking like she’d done something wrong? Shouldn’t he be asking if she—I—was all right?

A skinny young man with a lot of hair and jeans that were too tight stood beside the officer. It was obvious he was one of my kind—not just because he looked out of place, but because he looked right at me and winked.

“No,” I said, looking away from the ghost. “We’re not going to have trouble.”

The policeman nodded, rocked back on his heels. “That’s good, because I have friends at Bell Hill. If I think for a minute that you’re a danger to anyone in this town I won’t hesitate to give them a call.”

Lark would say something snarky—my sister got defiant when threatened—but I couldn’t think of anything. I was too angry. How dare he bring up that awful place. Lark hadn’t done anything and this man talked about sending her back there? He looked at her as though he thought she was a criminal. Trouble. Just what did he think she was going to do? She’d hurt herself, not anyone else.

“She didn’t do anything,” Mason said, with a frown. “Why don’t you back off?”

The officer obviously didn’t like his tone. “You watch your tone, Mace.”

“No.” The boy who had rescued my sister, and earned my eternal gratitude, folded his arms over his chest. “There’s nothing going on here, so maybe you should go find some real trouble, because I won’t hesitate to call my father—you know, your boss—and let him know that one of his officers is bullying a teenage girl for no reason.”

The older man stared at Mason, who stared back. Oh, I wished Lark could have seen it! If I liked Mason Ryan before, I adored him now for standing up for my sister.

“Someday, you’re not going to be able to hide behind your daddy the chief anymore.” Olgilvie pointed a thick finger at him. “I’m going to be there when that happens.”

Mason shrugged. “Then I guess you and I will have trouble. Someday.”

The officer stepped forward, jaw tight. That was when I put myself, or rather Lark, between the two of them. I probably shouldn’t have done anything, but it was the only way I could think of to end this situation before it became any more out of control.

And the only way to get the ghost to go away.

“You hid behind your father when he was chief, Opie.”

The color drained from Olgilvie’s face. “What did you call me?”

“That was what they called you, wasn’t it? The kids who liked to tease you?” Sometimes I knew things about the living, but in this case, the name had come from the ghost with him.

I smiled a little, moved closer to him, so only he could hear what I said next—the secret his companion shared. He staggered backward after I spoke to him, looking at me like I was something unnatural, which I was, of course. I was glad Lark wasn’t awake to see it, because too many people had given her that same look over the course of her life.

The officer turned and walked away. He looked unsteady. The younger man’s ghost walked beside him.

“What did you say to him?” Mason asked when it was just the group of us again.

“Something only he and a dead man knew,” I answered. And that was all I was going to say. Things taken to the grave were taken there for a reason. By revealing it, and scaring the officer away, I’d basically indebted myself to the ghost haunting him. If the ghost ever needed a favor, I was obliged to reciprocate. No need to bring anyone else into that bargain.

I had bigger things to worry about. “Can someone help me? I need to wake up Lark.”

With the exception of Mason, they all looked at me in...well, it wasn’t quite horror. Surprise? That was when I finally let myself look at Kevin. My heart skipped a beat.

“Wren?” His voice was hoarse.

I nodded. His eyes were so blue, even in the dark parking lot. The breeze blew dark curls around his face. Such wild hair. It didn’t occur to me to speak. I just wanted to look at him. God, I could touch him if I wanted.

After that first connection when Lark had hurt herself, I didn’t expect to talk to Kevin again, but he reached out to me a day or two later. And when my sister had shut me out, he was the one person I could talk to about it. It took some time, and it wasn’t easy, but we got so that we could communicate fairly easily. He couldn’t see me, couldn’t touch me, but he could hear me.

“Oh, shit,” Gage said, staring at me. “That’s a ghost in there? Dude, that’s...fucked up.”

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